Determinants of the use of wrist working splints in rheumatoid arthritis

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To gain insight into the determinants of the use of wrist working splints among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods

A qualitative descriptive study was performed among 18 patients with RA who recently received a fabric wrist working splint because of pain due to arthritis of the wrist. Patients were interviewed at home using semistructured in-depth interviews. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the framework approach.

Results

The majority of patients indicated that their splint use was dependent on the seriousness of the symptoms (pain, swelling, or tingling feelings) they perceived. Important reasons to wear the splint were reduction of symptoms, wrist support, and immobilization of the wrist. Important reasons to stop wearing the splint were reduced functional abilities using the splint and the performance of dirty or wet activities.

Conclusion

The reasons for patients to wear and not wear wrist working splints are related to intentional decisions of the patients, which are primarily based on perceived benefits and barriers of splint wearing. The results of this study have been used to develop educational and behavioral strategies to increase adherence to wearing wrist working splints.

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